The year 2020 has finally gone and we have entered 2021. The 2020 year has been the most difficult year for all of us. COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone’s life drastically, but at the same time, fake news has also been a major problem in 2020.
People were manipulated and provoked on social media through fake news. The government also took several steps to keep a check on the spread of fake news. But we sometimes fall prey to fake news stories.
Here are the top 10 fake-news stories of 2020:
1. Liberal gang and AAP party spread lies to tarnish the image of PM Narendra Modi in front of Trump:
US President Donald Trump visited India in February 2020. During this time, liberals used their tactic to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of Donald Trump.
Just a few days before Donald Trump’s visit to India, a picture went massively viral on social media. In the picture, shared by Aam Aadmi Party’s social media team incharge Aishwary Verma, the man was seen urinating on a newly-made graffiti of PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on a wall in a street in Ahmedabad.
2. Masked goon attacking JNU is not an ABVP activist, lies being spread:
On 5 January 2020, masked goons carrying sticks and rods had indulged in violence inside the JNU campus. The narrative, within minutes of the ruckus inside the JNU campus, was that of lies, deception and misinformation.
One of the narratives that were dangerously peddled was after one of the first videos of the attack emerged.
In the video, one can see absolute pandamonium with slogans like ‘ABVP go back’ being chanted.
Once the video surfaced, sinister propaganda took root. A Twitter user alleged that one of the masked goons in the video, a girl, was an ABVP functionary. In an attempt to discredit the ABVP on social media, the photo was fiercely shared. However, this picture was later faked.
3. Old photo of Baba Ramdev in hospital circulated with false claim that he fell ill after overdosing on cow urine to prevent Coronavirus
An image of Baba Ramdev admitted to a hospital was circulated on social media with the claim that the yoga guru had to be hospitalised after he overdosed on cow urine. But no such thing had happened, and an old photograph was shared on social media to mock Baba Ramdev using the cow urine drink jibe, which is a favourite tool used by Jihadi terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists to mock Hindus.
4. Vladimir Putin released around 500 lions to make people stay indoors:
An image of a lion roaming on the streets was shared with the claim that Russian President, Vladimir Putin had released around 500 lions to make people stay indoors. However, the claim was false. Viral Image was from a 2016 film production shoot in Johannesburg, South Africa.
5. The viral video of Rishi Kapoor was not shot the night before he passed away:
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor drew his last breath on April 30. A few hours after his death, a video of a man singing next to Kapoor went viral on social media like wildfire. Later, it was found that the viral video was almost three months old. The video was shot in the first week of February when Kapoor was admitted at Max hospital in Delhi’s Saket.
6. An old picture from Kumbh Mela shared as buses arranged by Congress for migrant laborers:
NDTV India journalist UmaShankar Singh shared a picture of a long parade of buses where he implied that these were the buses arranged by the Congress party to get back migrants from Uttar Pradesh.
It was later learnt that the image of buses shared by NDTV journalist was fake. The fact was that the image of the parade of 500 buses was actually from Kumbh Mela. The Yogi government arranged these buses for the people travelling to Kumbh Mela.
7. Congress party shares old photograph to spread fake news:
The Congress party shared an old image of Narendra Modi in order to tarnish his image.
The party used a photograph of Prime Minister Modi in which measurements were being taken for his statue at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
The Congress party shared the image with the caption, “Aysho aaram ke zindagi me mast hai” which roughly translates to “busy enjoying a life of luxury”.
The fact is that the scene depicted in the photograph was from 2016. Later, the Congress party deleted the tweet with the photograph.
8. Person seen in this viral photo with CM Yogi is not gangster Vikas Dubey:
A photo of Uttar Pradesh (UP) CM Yogi Adityanath with another leader was shared on social media with a claim that the leader next to CM Yogi was gangster Vikas Dubey. It was claimed that he was affiliated to the BJP.
The man seen with CM Yogi is Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Vikas Dubey. Coincidentally, he shares his name with the gangster.
9. Drone Boy’ made 600 drones using broken mixer grinders and televisions. A fact-check:
An image of ‘drone boy’ Prathap NM went viral on social media. He was highly praised as a drone scientist. However, the truth is quite the contrary. In the viral photo, one can see that the drone is branded with the name ACSL on several places. This ACSL happens to be a Japanese company, that makes unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. The photograph also has a person with an ACSL branded shirt, and the ACSL Logo can also be seen in the wall of the stall, and on the TV mounted on the wall. All these point towards the possibility that Prathap had attended some exhibition where ACSL had showcased its drones, and got himself photographed with one of the drones made by the Japanese company.
10. In Hathras, factory seal making spices from donkey dung:
The District Magistrate of Hathras denied claims that Anup Varshney, a leader of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, used to make spices of local brands using donkey scat and dangerous acids etc.
This fake news was shared on social media by several news groups, some political parties like Samajwadi Party and Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the fact checker website Altnews. The news turned out to be fake.